“Conversations do not have an expiration time based on hours. They are left at one point or another one day to be picked up and continued the next day or next week. We have some conversations that have been in progress for years.”
– Celebrating the Third Place
My first true interaction with Will took place while I was doing my laundry, about two weeks into our freshman year at college. I was angry and anxious, upset about something that had recently occurred in my church back at home, and after I put my clothes in the washer, I turned to him and asked, “Can I vent to you for a second?” Surprised, he put down his things and nodded his consent, and we launched into an hour-long conversation about the church.
Then, after we had been dating for about a year, we started playing a sort of game, where we went back and forth asking each other questions… the only rule, really, was that the answer had to be honest. And so we spent hundreds of hours, probably, peppering each other with random queries, both heavy and light. What are your dreams like? Have you ever been caught doing something shameful? What’s your favorite memory with your sister? If you could be any animal, what would you be? Can you sing the lyrics to a whole song without listening to it at the same time? Have you ever been to a therapist? How often do you pray? In particular, we spent hours talking about our personality types (Will is an INTP while I’m an INFJ), mostly using the typological descriptions as springboards for deeper conversation. He would ask me things like, “Is intuition really that important to you? Do you actually make your decisions based on feeling?”, while I would inquire, “Is this bit about having a ‘complex inner world’ true? What sort of theories do you think about?”. We would sit on our beds, in Illinois and California, respectively, scrolling through pages of personality portraits, recounting our lives out loud for the other’s benefit.
Even now, we take walks and describe our passions, our dreams, our fears. We’ll make dinner while talking about the ups and downs of our days, the things that made us proud or happy or self-conscious. Sometimes, the two of us just get in the car and drive for miles, talking about what we would do if we found out we only had a week to live, or what we thought of that movie we just saw, or why crowd-sourcing is so helpful.
So I guess our story, really, is one of conversation.
One day, a boy and a girl started talking.
And we haven’t stopped since.
p.s. photo found here